When Kylie Wech started working in Civil Construction, she had a role in administration – she was the ‘tea lady’ as she puts it. What Kylie didn’t realise, was that role would set her up for a lifetime career in civil construction. “In the beginning, I saw the role as a means to an end. Very quickly, I decided I needed to turn my job into a career.”
Kylie’s made that career happen by working her way up through the industry, trying her hand at a number of different roles, finally landing herself as one of our highly-respected Project Managers.
She’s a big advocate for women in the industry, and says anyone keen on trying out civils should give it a go. “This industry has given me so many opportunities to try different avenues and pathways. The civil infrastructure industry has so many options, it will adapt to your needs as you adapt to your role.”
When Peter Capilitan arrived from the Philippines in 2018, his surveying qualification wasn’t recognised in New Zealand. Unable to work in his chosen field, he took a role with Higgins as a grader operator.
Last year, his team encouraged him to use the Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund (TTAF) to pay for a surveying qualification that would be recognised in New Zealand. He’s rightfully very proud of his achievement!
Fletcher Construction Early in Career Programme Lead Sarah McKenzie made inquiries to help set Peter up with Connexis. “Not only has he been motivated to persevere despite English being his second language, he has really demonstrated Fletcher Values of Better Together and Being Bold.”
Peter says getting the qualification helped boost his career and provides a significant advantage in future endeavours. "I am beyond blessed with the opportunities I've been given to reach my dream of becoming a surveyor. I'm ready for more projects."
As TTAF is no longer available, our people can access the Fletcher Building Employee Educational Fund (EEF), which helps fund the cost of tuition and development programmes for career-related studies.
If you want to become an engineer, we can help you learn while you’re on the job through a cadetship. That support could help you earn a Diploma in Engineering – or even a qualification in Quantity Surveying or Construction Management.
You’d be joining other cadets like Levi Muller who recently joined us at Higgins as an Engineering Cadet. Before leaving school, Levi’s school approached our Early in Career Programme Lead Sarah McKenzie who organised a one-to-one visit at one of our projects where he was introduced to Tristan Paget, a Project Manager who also followed this pathway. This ignited a genuine spark in Levi and by showing his engagement and motivation, he was welcomed to the Higgins team in February after leaving school.
Levi’s been working with the team on the Rangiuru Business Park Interchange and is also studying for his Diploma in Engineering part time. This requires him to attend polytech one day a week which is supported by Higgins. He’s even being paid to attend tech, and accessing to our Employee Educational Fund for course costs. Higgins also facilitates a guided programme that enables Levi to learn on the job, whilst contributing to a high-profile project in his hometown.
So far, Levi’s loving his new role. "It's really hard to put a pinpoint on what I enjoy the most because I just love my job so much, going to work and seeing my team every day is a highlight."
If you’re keen to join the Green Team like Levi, contact LearningDevelopment@fcc.co.nz.
Michael Valente swung wide the door to new opportunities in paradise when he moved country to start a new chapter in his construction career with Higgins, Fiji.
That was back in 2020 when he joined the Fletcher Family from his home country of South Africa, where had had owned a civil engineering company for 19 years, and was later a senior project manager specialising in all aspects of pipeline and road construction.
The opportunity with Higgins as the Suva Manager represented an exciting opportunity for a lifestyle change for his family. The opportunity to step into a bigger role saw the family relocate to Nadi when he became the Fiji Fletcher Higgins Country Manager in 2023.
Based in the head office in Lomolomo, Nadi, Michael oversees just under 700 staff, making Fletcher the biggest construction company in Fiji with a busy pipeline of work that has quickly ramped up post-Covid.
Michael is responsible for maintaining client relationships, sourcing new work as well as optimisation of existing projects. Some of these include refurbishment of the Western Hotel, four zones of roading maintenance contracts, completion of the Kings Road Upgrade, construction of nine critical bridges and work on the Nadi International Airport runway.
He visits Fletcher Construction’s head office in Auckland, New Zealand several times a year for senior leadership meetings and enjoys the close connection with the team there. “There’s no challenge too big that we can’t find a solution to, whether it’s health and safety or technology; we can draw on a wealth of knowledge and the company’s deep history and experience,” he says.
“Fletcher is a good employer and a caring company that looks after its employees.”
Michael promotes a strong safety culture, and has particularly enjoyed being part of the progress Higgins has made on the workplace health and safety journey over the last few years. “Our health and safety standards really set us apart here in the Pacific and I strongly believe in the philosophy of getting our people home safely every day. It’s rewarding to see the results we have made in standardising safety standards across the business and seeing the results of the way we care for our people.”
Although he’s no longer in his home country, Michael says he loves being part of the Fletcher family in the Pacific.
Fletcher’s graduate programmes and training and development support makes it an attractive employer in the Pacific, but has its downsides when staff rise through the ranks and get job opportunities in New Zealand and Australia.
“But on the other hand, it demonstrates the strong opportunities we offer and that once you spend meaningful time working with us, there are opportunities for career progression across the Pacific.”
What's next for you?
Join us and we’ll get you all set for what’s next – from the career you want to the lifestyle you’re dreaming of. The size and scale of our operations means we can offer an impressive range of opportunities across the country.
Let's talk about how we can get your career and quality of life all set for what's next.